Jun 102006

Italian VersionLa versione italiana è qui: Combattere lo spam in WordPress

Hello everyone !
Often, for some of us, coming back to work means also coming back to each own’s blog, probably leaved “unsurveilled” in those vacations days.
… and an “unsurveilled” blog means, in many cases, a blog “spammed” with some (if you’re lucky) or hundreds (if you’re unlucky) spam-comments.
How can we stop this? Easy. We will use some plug-ins made for WordPress that have been build exactly to help in these spam management situations, and which I’ll introduce you (with some personal comments on them) in this post. As usual the plugins listed in the following list have been personally tested by me, so …. trust me 😉

1) Akismet (www.akismet.com): this plugin is THE FIRST absolute one that you should install (and activate) on every WordPress based blog.
For it’s correct work you need to get a WordPress API Key, which you can get opening a (free as in beer) blog on WordPress.com.
It’s an easy plugin and its work is absolutely trasparent to the user: when you have it installed and activated with your own API Key, it will mind to intercept and compare every single comment coming in with a database of spam comments hosted on Akismet’s server.
If the comment is “good”, it will regularly appear on the blog. If the comment is (or seems) “spam” it will be stored in a “quarantine zone” called “Akismet spam”, that will be availble in your WordPress management backend, where you can recover it if it has been marked as spam by error or definitevely cancel it.
“False positives” are really few, as are the spam comments not correctly marked.
Giovy’s take: to install, absolutely

2) Trencaspammers (http://coffeliuswiki.bloggear.net/trencaspammers): this great anti-spam plugin is really effective, but it needs some “hacks” to a fully working experience.
The working principle on which is based to is different from Akismet’s one, it needs the insertion (by your commentes) of an alfanumeric code in a box, code showed to the users as an image, manipulated so to be not easily interpreted by an OCR software.
Pro: It is really effective on fighting spam.
Cons: it need a “difficoult” installation (expecially if you’re a novice user, but then there are really some good guides on the Internet) and it adds a sometime annoying step to people commenting your post, which have to “decode” the code generated by the plugin.
Giovy’s take: install it, if you don’t mind to introduce this little “obstacle” to your readers, but you want to put spam near to zero.

3) WordPress Hashcash 3.0 beta (http://elliottback.com/wp/archives/2005/10/23/wordpress-hashcash-30-beta/): this plugin belongs to the “zero configuration” category (as Akismet), and to have it fully working you have just to download, install and then enable it.
The principle it’s based on is a bit “obscure” and not interesting to the not-introduced (in short: if the javascript created by the plugin matches a series of conditions the “enter your comment” button is enabled, else not) but is completely trasparent to the user commenting.
It’s effectiveness is in the medium range, sometimes we can see also legal comments refused by the system and sometime some spam comment manage to “get-in”. In some cases, as i’ve read, it can disable at all the comments insertion, so you will have to disable (and remove) it.
Giovy’s take: install it only if really needed. Then you will have to keep an eye on it’s work, and probably insert an advisory note fot your readers which are approaching commenting your post.

4) Spam Karma 2.2 (http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/): a really effective plugin, belonging to the “configure if needed” category (or: the plugin works at its best even with no personal configuration, but you are given the opportunity to make some customizations).
The principle it’s based on is really particular: to each comment is given a “karma” score, following a series of parameters. When karma becomes negative the comments goes into moderation (automatically generated comments, peculiar to most spam-bots are the best category in which negative karma is applied). The nice thing, instead, is that your “regulars”, the people which comments usually on your blog are given bonus positive karma points, so – normally – anything posted by them will pass the control. Spam Karma shows a “plugin behaviour”, and so it’s possible to expand it’s working range (for example i can indicate the plugin that integrates it with Akismet).
Giovy’s take: really nice plugin, install it now and integrate it with the Akismet plugin.

Final Notes: after having tested many of this plugins (naturally in addiction to the ones listed today) I came to the conclusion that the best results (both on spam prevention and ease of use for my readers) is given by Akismet & Spam Karma + Askimet plugin.
False positives ammounts pratically to zero, as zero are the spam comments that manage to pass the various controls.
If you notice that both of them “just works” with a simple download & install procedure, requiring no code editing, and so are at range of the novice WordPress users, so we have clearly a winner.
Try them … you will not regret it! 😉

Translation by Nicola “kOoLiNuS” Losito.

  7 Responses to “Fighting spam in WordPress”

  1. kOoLiNuS Saint Soon! 🙂

    Giovy please speak like you eat!!! 😆

  2. @ Maxime: LOL!!!!
    Very nice this english version… All we have to do is write in english until the end (of our life, obviously) 🙂

  3. Stordita come sono stavo pensando ” Ma dove ho già letto una
    cosa simile?” … ovviamente qui oltre un mese fa 😉

  4. Akismet secondo alcuni è il migliore.

  5. @ Graziano: anche secondo me, se hai letto il mio post… 😀

  6. […] blocked) + Spam Karma (4620 spam comments blocked) WordPress’s plugin combo {read the nice post of Giovy on the subject} manages to keep the system clean. By the way, one of the recently most […]

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